Suction pads – selection and configuration

Suction pads are the connecting element between the workpiece and the vacuum generator. Their technical and physical design is thus decisive for correct operation of the entire vacuum gripping system!


Here, we would like to explain the most important criteria you must observe when selecting and configuring suction pads and to show you where you can find the necessary detailed information and calculation aids.


The planning checklist for your suction pads


Before starting to design a system, you should ask yourself a few basic questions. The answers to these questions then form the basis for selection of the correct suction pads.


1.    What are the dimensions and weights of the workpieces to be handled?

2.    What is the surface of the workpieces like (rough, structured, smooth)?

3.    Do you expect the workpieces to be dirty and, if so, what sort of dirt do you expect?

4.    What is the maximum temperature of the workpieces?

5.    Is high orientation and positioning accuracy required?

6.    What are the planned cycle times?

7.    Which maximum acceleration values are expected?

8.    Which type of handling is planned (movement, swivelling, turning)?

9.    Which environmental effects are expected?


You can download the detailed checklist (with explanations of the various questions) by clicking on the "Downloads" link on the right.


Criteria for suction-pad selection


The following are further criteria for the selection of the correct suction pad:


è   Calculation and determination of the important physical parameters

·   coefficient of friction

·   holding forces

·   suction-pad diameter

·   suction capacity of the vacuum generator


è   The shape of the suction pad. Suction pads are available in three basic shapes:

·   flat suction pads

·   bellows suction pads

·   grippers with special principles of operation


è   Selection of the correct suction-pad material
The suction-pad material and its specific properties are frequently decisive for a successful solution. In many cases, the pad material has to be hard-wearing, resistant to oil or suitable for handling foodstuffs. You can download the complete information on this from the area "Downloads", namely:

·   a materials table with an overview and selection aids

·   explanations of the technical data

·   calculation examples for such things as the suction-pad diameter

·   explanations of the shapes and types of suction pads

For more information contact Millsom Vacuum Components